Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: Al Houthi movement continues drone attacks on airports in southwestern Saudi Arabia; Saudi-led coalition conducts airstrikes in Sana’a; al Houthi official threatens attacks on oil facilities, Egypt, and Sudan

Horn of Africa: Al Shabaab detonates VBIEDs in Mogadishu; al Shabaab kills Kenyan policemen with IED near Somali border; clan militia murders civilians in response to suspected al Shabaab attack

Yemen Security Brief

The al Houthi movement conducted two drone attacks against the Abha regional airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia on June 15 and June 17, respectively. Al Houthi forces also attacked the Jizan regional airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia with drones on June 15. Al Houthi forces previously fired a missile at the Abha airport, which is located 110 kilometers from the Yemeni border, on June 12, injuring 26 civilians. The al Houthi movement vowed to continue attacks on airports in southwestern Saudi Arabia after the missile attack.[1]

The Saudi-led coalition conducted airstrikes in the al Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sana’a on June 15. The coalition began a series of airstrikes in Sana’a on June 14 in response to the al Houthi missile attack on the Abha airport two days prior.[2]

President of the al Houthi Supreme Political Council Mahdi al Mushat threatened attacks against oil facilities and tankers in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea on June 17, according to anti-al Houthi media. Mushat also threatened missile attacks against Sudan and Egypt, which are members of the Saudi-led coalition.[3]

Horn of Africa Security Brief

Al Shabaab militants detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) and a suicide vehicle-borne IED (SVBIED) in a coordinated attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu on June 15. Al Shabaab militants detonated the VBIED at a security checkpoint near the presidential palace before detonating the SVBIED at a checkpoint on the road to the airport shortly thereafter. The two explosions killed 11 people and injured another 25.[4]

Al Shabaab militants detonated an IED targeting a Kenyan police vehicle near the Somali border in Wajir County in eastern Kenya on June 15. The attack killed 10 police officers.[5]

Clan militiamen murdered nine Somali civilians in Galkayo town in north-central Somalia on June 14 in retaliation for the murder of a local security official by suspected al Shabaab militants. The militiamen were members of the Sa’ad Habar Gedir sub-clan and the victims were members of the Rahanweyn clan. Security officials in Galkayo have previously accused the Rahanweyn of providing fighters to al Shabaab.[6]

[1] “Houthis say they launched drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Abha and Jizan airports,” Haaretz, June 16, 2019,; and “Yemen’s Houthis launch new attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport: Al Masirah TV,” Reuters, June 16, 2019,

[2] “For the second day.. Coalition attacks sites in Sanaa and Houthis vow more,” Al Jazeera, June 15, 2019,التحالف-السعودي-الإماراتي-قصف-معسكرات-حوثية-طائرات-مسيرة-مطار-أبها; “Saudi-led coalition hits Houthi positions in Yemen’s Sanaa: Saudi state TV,” Reuters, June 15, 2019,; and “Houthi military spokesman: Abha, Jizan and Najran airports have become unsafe and will be permanently targeted,” Al Mashhad Al Yemeni, June 17, 2019,

[3] “The Houthis threaten to target oil tankers, Egypt and Sudan,” Hadramout, June 17, 2019,

[4] Abdi Guled, “11 killed, 25 injured as explosions rock Somalia’s capital,” Associated Press, June 15, 2019,; and “Shabaab Claims Two Car Bombings in Mogadishu Killing 31, Boasts Multiple Attacks in Kenya in 2 Days,” SITE Intelligence Group, June 17, 2019, English translation available by subscription at

[5] “Roadside bomb kills several Kenyan police near Somali border,” France 24, June 17, 2019,; and “Kenya Police Blame Al-Shabab For Blast Near Somalia That Left Officers Dead,” NPR, June 15, 2019,

[6] “Somalia militia executes nine civilians,” Africa News, June 15, 2019,

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